Demands Created by America's Aging Population - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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August 1, 2016

Demands Created by America's Aging Population

Today's senior adult population is expanding in record numbers. A combination of longer life spans and the aging of the "Baby Boomers" has led to a population of older adults that is nearly double what it was in 2000, according to Everyday Health. With this increase comes a demand for services for older adults, and potential career opportunities for young people.

A Growing Population for Two Reasons

The population of older Americans is growing for two primary reasons. First, the Baby Boomer generation is quickly approaching the status of "senior citizen." Because of the huge number of people born 60 to 70 years ago, we have an influx of older adults.

Another reason for this shift is the higher life expectancy of today's senior adults. Healthcare has come a long way in the past generation, and today a man has a life expectancy of 74 years, compared to the 48 years of a man born in 1900. Similar changes have occurred for women. This, combined with the sheer number of Baby Boomers, has led to the explosive growth of America's senior population.

Larger Population of Older Adults Creates Interesting Implications

A growing number of senior citizens is a good thing, but it does create some interesting issues, especially in the healthcare world. Today's hospitals, long-term care facilities and even the medical professionals are not quite equipped to deal with the needs of this aging adult population.

Older adults often have different healthcare needs. The ailments and diseases they have, as well as the way they respond to treatments, are simply different. In addition, the elderly often have more than one health condition at a time. In fact, the Eldercare Workforce Alliance estimates indicate that 90 percent of those over the age of 65 have at least one, if not more, chronic health conditions.

This has created a demand for people who are trained in caring for older adults. For children, pediatricians offer the services of a medical provider who understands the unique physiology and needs of the young body, and the aging population faces a similar need. Older adults need care professionals who understand these differences and the steps necessary to help them deal with multiple chronic health problems.

Unfortunately, these professionals are just not there. The Eldercare Workforce Alliance indicates that the caregiver support ratio is going to be four caregivers to every one person over the age of 80 by 2030. When you consider the coordination necessary to provide adequate care to older adults facing multiple health conditions, this number is not high enough.

Aging Care Services Training Is the Answer to This Concern

Professionals in every industry, but especially in healthcare and care giving industries, need to have a better understanding of the demands and needs of this aging population. Further training is the answer to this concern. Geneva College offers a Bachelor of Professional Studies in Aging Services, a degree that prepares students to be managers and leaders among those working in aging services. This non-medical degree does include direct care services training, planning and evaluation study, helping create professionals who understand the unique needs of the older adult population.

                And with Geneva’s Christ-centered focus, the mercy and care modelled by Jesus is taught and applied to all areas of the aging services field.

For more information on how Geneva College can help you pursue your academic and career goals, contact us at 855-979-5563 or admissions@geneva.edu

 

http://www.everydayhealth.com/senior-health/aging-and-health/pressures-on-healthcare-from-booming-senior-population.aspx

http://www.eldercareworkforce.org/research/issue-briefs/research:qanda/